Fontlab 5.2 adding instance

I'm a bit stuck. I'm still working in Fontlab 5.2, and am looking for a quick way to add a master in the middle of the weight range. At the moment I've got a MM font from light to black, but I need to modify the (interpolated) regular. I thought I'd just generate instances at 0, 400 and 1000 then adjust the 400 instance and make two new MM fonts using blend fonts, one light to regular, the other regular to black, but for whatever reason, Fontlab seems to be changing component order in some glyphs (like fractions) and changing some outline directions, so the new MM fonts need a lot of tinkering. Is there a better way? (other than upgrading to Fontlab 6 [tried the demo and just couldn't get into it] or Glyphs [hopefully this will be an option soon, but not now])



  • Thanks, Mark. That could work. Only thing now is how to easily generate the regular master. I thought of using RMX scaler to scale to 100% but increase the stem. That seems to work but I'm not sure how it affects the kerning. I'll check.
    I think I really need to upgrade to Glyphs! 
  • I don't recall exactly, but I think there is a way to do it by generating the instance you want to use as a master and then bringing it back in somehow. Pretty sure I was able to do it on at least one project, but it's been a while so I don't remember the exact steps.
  • I have used the "Serif" axis as an option for creating the intermediate master that Mark describes.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 985
    edited October 20
    Okay, I remember now.

    Let's say you have a single axis MM setup in FL5, a font named "TestFont" where Wt0 is light (0) and Wt1 is bold (1000). The value of your regular weight is 400.

    1. Generate an instance at 400 (Tools>Multiple Master>Generate Instance...). This will create and open a new FL file (TestFont-Wt400) containing the regular style.

    2. Switch back to the original font and choose Tools>Multiple Master>Define New Axis. Call it "Weight2" with short name of "We" and axis type of Weight. This will give you your second axis.

    3. With both fonts open, choose Tools>Multiple Master>Assign Master... and select "Wt1 We2" as the master to replace and select "TestFont-400wt" as the font you want to use. This will put a "regular" master at the top right corner of the design space.

    That's it.

    Now that it's set up this way, make sure the second axis (Weight2/We) is always set to zero when moving along the first axis (Weight/Wt) and that the first axis (Weight/Wt) is always set to 1000 when moving along the second axis (Weight2/We).

    Weights lighter than regular (previously 400 in the original version) are along the first axis (0...1000, 0), and weights bolder than regular are along the second axis (1000, 0...1000). Regular is at 1000,0. You'll have to recalculate your other weight values proportional to the new set up.

    (FWIW, it's so much easier to do intermediate masters in the newer font editors. I found this how-to a little ridiculous once I worked it out. Usually, when I was using FL5, I did my interpolation in Superpolater if I needed to have an intermediate master.)
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,141
    People have some ingenious work-arounds. Of course, I would suggest you give FontLab VI a try again when 6.1 comes out shortly. I think you will find it has improved a lot.
Sign In or Register to comment.